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How an Absence of a Wall or Railing on a Sidewalk Bridge Helped a NYC Construction Worker Make His Case

There are multiple different ways to achieve an appropriate recovery for your construction injury. Depending on the facts of your case, you may need to proceed by utilizing a claim under one of the sections of the New York Labor Law, or your case may allow you to bring multiple claims under different sections of the law. Either way, your construction injury case may potentially entitle you to compensation. To learn more about your rights, talk to a knowledgeable New York construction injury attorney.

An example of an injury that allowed a worker to advance multiple claims was the workplace accident case of a man named Gerson. Gerson was employed by a contracting firm and working on a job at a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing project in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens when he was injured in April 2014. At that time, Gerson’s job consisted of standing on top of a sidewalk bridge and handing wooden planks to his co-workers. While transporting a plank, Gerson tried to re-adjust that plank on his shoulder, lost his balance, and fell off the sidewalk bridge. Gerson fell on the side with no panel walls, so he fell shoulder-first onto the ground below.

The fall injured the worker, so he sued for compensation. When you, as a construction worker, are working on a job, there are certain legal obligations that the law imposes on both the owner of the property where you’re working and the general contractor on the project. These duties relate to providing workers with a safe place to work and also providing them with the safety equipment and protection devices they need to protect them from certain types of harm. One of these sets of harms includes “gravity-related” risks, which can mean something falling on a worker or a worker falling from a height. This is stated in Section 240(1) of the Labor Law.

Another basis that you may have for obtaining compensation is if a violation of the safety regulations codified in the Industrial Code occurred on the site and led to your injury. This is Section 241(6) of the Labor Law.

Based on the facts of his case, Gerson sued both the general contractor and the NYCHA, alleging both a regulatory violation and a “gravity-related” injury. The Industrial Code requires that “sidewalk sheds” have a “substantial enclosure at least 42 inches in height” and that open sides of scaffold platforms have safety railings. The worker alleged that one side of his sidewalk bridge (the side over which he fell) had no walls and no railing. This proof was enough to entitle Gerson to a judgment of liability against the NYCHA on his Section 241(6) claim.

Gerson was also entitled to a judgment of liability against the housing authority on his Section 240(1) claim. He had evidence that he fell from a height and that his fall was a reasonable result of the lack of “devices and equipment, such as ropes, safety railings, barricades, and an anchorage point to tie his safety harness.” He wasn’t given sufficient safety protections, and those protections contributed to his fall and injury, so he was entitled to compensation.

If you’ve been hurt working at a construction job, make sure you have skilled advocates in your corner. The Queens construction injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been helping injured workers hurt at construction jobs for many years.. To put our abilities to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

‘Flexible’ Definition of a Construction Site Allows a New York Worker to Pursue His Construction Injury Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2018
Taking Legal Action When Your New York Construction Work Site Was Unsafe, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 5, 2018

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